Petit History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the historical and enchanting region of France emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Petit family. Originally, the French people were known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted in France is extremely interesting. Surnames evolved during the Middle Ages when people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Often they adopted names that were derived from nicknames. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The name Petit is a nickname type of surname for a person of small stature, having derived from the Old French word "petit," meaning, "small" or "little".

Early Origins of the Petit family

The surname Petit was first found in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne), an administrative and historical region of east-central France where this distinguished family held a family seat at Bressey, where Antoine Petit was a knight of arms in the year 1353. They were also seated at Lavaux. They were strongly associated with the region of Champagne on the northern border of Bourgogne in eastern France. The first record in Bourgogne is at the seigneurie of Villiers-Sur-Suize where they held a family seat several centuries before the 15th century. In the 15th century Guyot Petit was Lord of the manor of Chaumont and a Lieutenant in the government of Nogent. This main stem of the family eventually emerged as the Barons Mathault.

Early History of the Petit family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petit research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1598, 1674, 1677, 1688, and 1750 are included under the topic Early Petit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Petit Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Pettit, Petit, Petite, Petites, Pettitt, Petitt, Pessit, Du Pettit, Du Petitt, Du Petit, Le Petitt, Le Pettit and many more.

Early Notables of the Petit family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Jean Petit (Jehan Petit, John Parvus) (c. 1360-1411), a French theologian and professor in the University of Paris, is known for his public defense of a political killing as tyrannicide; Pierre Petit (1598-1677), French mathematician; and Pierre Petit (1617-1687)...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Petit World Ranking

In the United States, the name Petit is the 3,852nd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [1] However, in Quebec, Canada, the name Petit is ranked the 455th most popular surname. [2] And in France, the name Petit is the 7th popular surname with an estimated 88,318 people with that name. [3]


United States Petit migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Petit Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Abraham Clement Petit, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [4]
  • Mary Petit, who landed in Maryland in 1677 [4]
  • Marguerite Petit, who arrived in South Carolina in 1680 [4]
  • Rene Petit, who landed in South Carolina in 1680 [4]
Petit Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Josue Petit, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [4]
  • Noel Petit, who settled in Connaigre in 1710
  • Henry Petit who settled in Louisiana in 1719
  • Claude Antoine Petit, aged 25, who landed in Louisiana in 1719 [4]
  • Henry Petit, aged 50, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Petit Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nicholas Petit, who settled in Philadelphia in 1808
  • Berrard Petit, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [4]
  • Fermin Augusto Petit, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1816 [4]
  • Francisco Petit, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816 [4]
  • Louis Florial Petit, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1841 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Petit Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Myrtle Edna Thompson Petit, who arrived in Alabama in 1929 [4]

Canada Petit migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Petit Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Nicolas Petit, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 16th March 1649 [5]
  • Nicolas Petit, who settled in Beauchemir, Quebec from Aunis on the west coast of France near Bordeaux in 1656
  • Nicolas Petit, son of Nicolas and Catherine, who married Marie Pomponnelle, daughter of Jean and Michelle, in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on 17th August 1656 [6]
  • Pierre Petit, who arrived in Quebec in 1658
  • Pierre Petit, son of Pierre and Antoinette, who married Marie Godeau, daughter of Paul and Jeanne, in Quebec on 6th August 1658 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Petit Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Nicolas Petit, son of Charles and Jeanne, who married Marie-Marguerite Bertrand, daughter of Guillaume and Marguerite, in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec on 14th September 1700 [6]
  • Jean Petit, son of Jean and Catherine, who married Charlotte Duguay, daughter of Sidrac and Marie, in Quebec on 13th September 1706 [6]
  • Louis Petit, son of Louis and Marie, who married Marie-Anne Meunier, daughter of Pierre and Barbe, in Boucherville, Quebec on 23rd November 1711 [6]
  • Joseph Petit, son of Joseph and Marie, who married Marie-Jeanne Brisset, daughter of Jacques and Marguerite, in La Visitation-de-l'île-Dupas, Quebec on 5th June 1713 [6]
  • François Petit, son of Gaspard and Louise, who married Élisabeth Belleperche, daughter of Denis and Gertrude, in Montreal, Quebec on 25th July 1718 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Petit Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jeremiah Petit, who settled in St. Jacques in 1856

Australia Petit migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Petit Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Petit, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Jaques Petit, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cleveland" in 1839 [8]

New Zealand Petit migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Petit Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Petit, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Delhi" arriving in New Zealand in 1840 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Petit (post 1700) +

  • Gene Petit (d. 2013), American professional wrestler, member of the board of directors for the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Pierre Petit (1930-2022), Martinican politician who was elected to the French National Assembly in 1993
  • Jean Martin Petit, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [10]
  • Claude Petit, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [11]
  • Charles Frederic Petit, French Olympian who two bronze medals for archery at the 1900 games
  • Alexis Thérèse Petit (1791-1820), French physicist
  • Jean-Pierre Petit (b. 1937), French astrophysicist
  • Pierre Lanith Petit (1832-1909), French photographer
  • Roland Petit (1924-2011), French choreographer and dancer of the Ballet de Paris
  • William Petit Trowbridge (1828-1892), American mechanical engineer, military officer, and naturalist, founder of Trowbridge & Livingston, an architectural practice based in New York City in 1862


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/document/noms-de-famille-au-quebec/tableau/les-1-000-premiers-noms-de-famille-selon-le-rang-quebec
  3. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from https://lebloguedeguyperron.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/130-liste-des-contrats-dengagement-pour-la-nouvelle-france-releves-a-la-rochelle-entre-1634-et-1679/
  6. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 2, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CLEVELAND 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Cleveland.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, August 12) Jean Petit. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
  11. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, August 12) Claude Petit. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html


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